The Game is officially restarting.
Paramount+ has handed a ten-episode series order to its reboot of The CW and BET dramedy with original cast members Wendy Raquel Robinson and Hosea Chanchez reprising their roles.
Robinson, who also stars in Insecure, will return as sports agent Tasha Mack, and Chanchez, who stars in Black Lightning, returns as footballer Malik Wright with several other legacy cast members making special appearances.
The series, which was created by Mara Brock Akil, originally launched as a half-hour comedy on The CW and ran for three seasons on the broadcast network. It subsequently moved to BET for six further seasons, breaking cable records, and became an hour-long dramedy.
The reboot, which was initially unveiled at Paramount+’s investor presentation, will be a half-hour and will see American Soul’s Devon Greggory as showrunner and writer. He will exec produce with Brock Akil, Salim Akil and original executive producer Kelsey Grammer and Tom Russo of Grammnet NH Productions.
The new series will relocate from San Diego to Las Vegas and will see new players offer a modern-day examination of Black culture through the prism of pro football. The team will tackle racism, sexism, classism and more as they fight for fame, fortune, respect and love—all while trying to maintain their souls as they each play The Game.
The ten-episode series is produced by CBS Studios, Akil Productions and Grammnet NH Productions.
“Fifteen years ago, I created The Game and am so proud of the success we had, and that I was able to create characters and stories that resonated with so many people,” said Mara Brock Akil. “I couldn’t be happier about leaving my beloved characters like Tasha Mack and Malik Wright in the hands of Devon, Wendy and Hosea, who I know will build off of the rich foundation the show has.”
“From the moment it debuted, The Game was a groundbreaking series that used humor, heart and memorable characters to explore real issues involving race, gender and, of course, football,” added Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, Paramount+. “What better time for Devon and the whole team to reunite for a fresh look at a world that has only become more at-the-center of the cultural conversation today.”
“The Game is a show I faithfully watched, with characters I grew to love, and now I have the honor of guiding them into the future,” said Greggory. “I’m simply thrilled to be hand-selected by Mara, Julie and CBS Studios to take over the creative reins of such an iconic and culturally significant series.”
“I love this show,” added Grammer. “I am very excited to see this new turn in its life and excited to wave the Paramount+ banner, as well. Grammnet NH Productions has been in business a long time and proudly explored diverse and inclusive material for decades. I am really looking forward to seeing this show on the air.”
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‘Run the World’ at Starz Adds Five to Season 2 Cast
Tika Sumpter, Chris “Comedian CP” Powell and Isha Blaaker have been cast in recurring roles in Season 2 of Starz’s “Run the World” while Cree Summer and Ashley Blaine Featherson-Jenkins will guest star, Variety has learned exclusively.
The series follows a group of smart, funny and vibrant 30-something Black women who live, work and play in Harlem.
Sumpter plays Naomi, the biological mother of Amari (Ellie Reine) who has returned home from the Navy. With the assertiveness of a military officer, she immediately reclaims her position in Amari’s life, leaving Sondi (Corbin Reid) to question her place in this new family dynamic.
Comedian CP plays Preston Thurgood, the multi-millionaire creator of Prestify, who has no need to put on airs. His hilarious, down-to-earth personality is plenty to get Renee’s (Bresha Webb) attention; however, his lavish lifestyle certainly won’t hurt his case. Preston could give Renee everything she’s ever wanted, but she’s unsure if he’s the love of her life.
Blaaker plays Phillip Houston, Whitney’s (Amber Stevens West) business school rival who has returned from London fresh off a breakup of his own. His sexy British arrogance has Whitney flustered and their chemistry runs high. Now that they’re both single, Phillip is certainly interested.
Summer will play Dr. Monica Mitchell, the ladies’ wise and trusting new therapist. She allows Whitney, Renee and Sondi to pick up right where they left off with their retired therapist, Dr. Nancy. Dr. Monica’s direct, honest and personal approach allows the ladies to open up and navigate their relationship woes, as well as admit that they were kind of over getting advice from a white woman.
Featherson-Jenkins will guest star as India Blue, a beautiful, confident, cool and incredibly successful singer/songwriter/producer. India has been working closely with Jason (Jay Walker) and is now looking to move this “collaboration” into something more, despite Renee and Jason’s prior relationship.
Rachelle Williams-BenAry serves as showrunner and executive producer for Season 2. Lionsgate Television produces. Overseeing the series for Starz is senior vice president of original programming Kathryn Tyus-Adair, while senior vice president of television Jocelyn Sabo and director of television Maggie Leung oversee for Lionsgate.
Run the World’s Andrea Bordeaux Addresses Exit Ahead of Season 2 Over Vaccine Mandate: ‘I Was Fired’
Andrea Bordeaux, who starred as Ella in Season 1 of the Starz comedy Run the World, is speaking out following her departure over the show’s COVID-19 protocols.
Bordeaux reportedly failed to comply with Run the World production company Lionsgate Television’s vaccine mandate, which requires that cast and crew members who work in Zone A be fully vaccinated.
Addressing her exit from the series ahead of Season 2 on Instagram, the actress denied reports that she chose to leave, saying that “Lionsgate made no efforts to find a workable solution. I was fired.”
“My heart is with all of the people around the world who feel that they are losing so much due to their choice to stand in their convictions and to honor their deepest core beliefs,” she added.
The actress also reflected on her time with the Starz series: “Getting the opportunity to play Ella on Run the World was an absolute dream come true. I would have loved to continue to grow with this delightful character and having to come to terms with this sharp turn in my life, my dream, and career these past several weeks has been heartbreaking beyond words. I have so much love for the cast and crew of Run the World and will miss them. I wish you all the best.” she said.
Run the World centers on a group of thirtysomething Black women — played by Bordeaux, Amber Stevens West, Bresha Webb and Corbin Reid — who juggle friendship, love and busy careers while living in Harlem.
Bordeaux portrayed Ella, a journalist-turned-novelist who struggled throughout Season 1 to bounce back from her ill-received second book. The finale saw her sneaking away from her friends to start writing the first chapter of her new book.
The role of Ella is not expected to be recast, and it’s unclear how the show plans to write her out of Season 2.
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03.25 – Kanye West – Donda 2 (All Platforms)
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